I’ve living in a below grade suite with a large sunken patio on the west end and excellent window frontage in that direction.
- I barely get two bars anywhere in the suite on the best day
- my connections run hot due to my phone using maximum transmit power at all times
- when it rains, connections drop randomly, even with my phone right up against the best window
- I can’t use my phone at all from my office, which is on the north-west corner with windows on both sides
- I get zero bars from 2/3 of my suite; every location even vaguely on the east side
This has been the state of affairs for several years now. I don’t use my phone heavily so I just put up with this for a long time.
The problem with my western frontage is that it faces out over Patricia Bay, a fair sized body of water with no cell towers.
A cell tower map shows the follow Telus towers:
- a weak tower due north on a couple of 2 GHz bands with directional coverage
- an omni tower to the south-east at Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
- a flagship tower situated just a shade north of due east with every band and antenna aspect under the sun
- the weak tower is fairly close
- both of the other towers are around 2 km distance
Estimated signal strength:
- the weak tower only has directional antennas, most likely facing into a housing cluster to the east or south-east (wrong direction)
- I doubt I’m getting any signal at all from the YYJ omni at 2 km distance
- the powerful flagship tower has to push its signal through the entire house above me from 2 km distance
To make matters worse, this house was custom built by a professional building inspector who specified the best sound-proofing known to civilization between the lower and upper suites. Turns out, this sound-proofing contains all kinds of metal. He was clearly thinking about privacy, not signal strength when he chose this construction material.
Thus I assume the only signal I’m going to get involves either radio fringing effects, or punching the signal straight through the wall from an oblique angle.
Wall-punching power goes up tremendously at lower frequencies. (See “propagation constant” on Wikipedia if you’re into math or RF engineering.)
Probably my only solution short of buying a signal extender is to replace my aging phone with a new phone capable of extended range LTE on 700 MHz (band 13).
When Telus/Koodo activated some of these fancy new LTE services a while back, initially even if your phone supported these bands, you didn’t get the service unless your phone was on a special list indexed by your phone’s IMEI. The list of phones with supported IMEI numbers only including phones purchased through Telus/Koodo on two-year contracts, with expensive data plans that I simply don’t need.
Yesterday I wandered into my local Costco’s electronics section, and I discovered they are now selling an unlocked Moto G Power (I recall the price as $280 in-store, but found it later at $300 online). This phone is model XT2041-4.
If I purchase this phone, will I actually get extended range LTE on my existing Koodo account, using my existing Koodo SIM card?
If I don’t get a more powerful signal, all I wind up with is a polished turd of a new phone, just as useless as the ancient one I now possess.
I don’t wish to invest close to $300 for a bottle of turd polish.
How do I best confirm with Koodo that this potential new phone purchase is not a bottle of turd polish, and that I will actually gain access to extended range LTE in practice?
Best answer by Dinh
Indoor signal is always challenging. What phone are you using as of now? If you are a postpaid customer and your phone was compatible with WiFi calling, I would suggest you enable it or get a compatible phone with it https://www.koodomobile.com/en/help/wifi-calling It reroutes your call/text via your local wifi network and avoid the bad indoor signal problem.